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    Di Venuto change sides for T20 qualifier

    Michael Di Venuto and Geraint Jones will play for Italy and Papua New Guinea respectively.

    Dubai: Former Australian batsman Michael Di Venuto and ex-England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones will play for Italy and Papua New Guinea respectively at next month's World Twenty20 qualifiers.

    Di Venuto played nine ODIs for Australia in 1997 while Jones took part in 34 Tests, 49 ODIs and two T20Is for England between 2004 and 2006.

    The 38-year-old Di Venuto became eligible after securing an Italian passport while 35-year-old Jones can play for PNG as he was born in Kundiawa, the capital of Simbu province in PNG.

    The 16-team qualifying tournament takes place in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah from March 13 to 24 March with the top two sides booking their places in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka September 18 to October 7.

    Afghanistan will be defending the title they won in 2010 when the qualifying tournament was an eight-team event.

    The Asian side had beaten Ireland in the final in Dubai by eight wickets but both sides qualified for the 2010 World Twenty20 which was staged in the West Indies.

    The 16 teams taking part are Afghanistan, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Uganda and the United States.